Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Working With More Than One Doctor

Working With More Than One Doctor

Overview

Many people see more than one doctor or health professional. Your primary care doctor, such as your internist or family doctor, may refer you to another doctor for a problem. You may see a specialist for another health concern. You may need a surgeon.

Having many doctors can help you get the best care, but it also can cause problems. If you don't talk often to your doctors, or if your doctors don't talk to each other, you may:

  • Be confused about which medicines you need to take.
  • Not know which doctor to ask about a health problem.
  • Be asked the same questions over and over, or be asked to repeat a medical test.
  • Become frustrated because you're getting different advice on your treatment.
  • Be more likely to experience medical errors.

You can avoid or reduce these problems and make things easier on yourself by working with your doctors. Here are some things you can do.

Having a health care team

When you have many doctors, think of them as your team. Tell your doctors that you expect them to talk with the other doctors about your care.

  • Write down your doctors' names and what they do in your care. Give each doctor a copy of this information.
  • Ask your primary care doctor to coordinate your care. Your doctor will know all the tests, medicines, and treatments you are getting and help you with any problems.
  • Ask your other doctors to tell your primary care doctor their treatment plans, including tests, medicines, physical therapy, surgeries, and food or exercise suggestions or limitations.
  • Ask your primary care doctor to help you list all your medical problems and treatment plans. This will help you and your doctor track your care and find problems more easily.

Working with your health care team

  • Ask about all your health problems when you see a doctor, but focus on your biggest needs or questions.
  • If you don't understand something your doctor says or does, ask about it.
  • Try to schedule doctor visits and tests on the same day and in the same part of town. This will help you save time and will be more convenient.
  • Ask your doctors or their staff how long visits will take, including time in the waiting room. Knowing what to expect can ease your feelings about the time you spend on your health care.
  • Ask your doctors to share your test results with you and other doctors. You don't want to have to do the same test twice or wait for days while one doctor asks for the results of a test from another doctor.

Getting the right advice

Having more than one health problem can be confusing. You may have problems understanding what you're supposed to do for each health problem.

Here are some examples:

  • One doctor may suggest a high protein diet for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), while another may want you to limit protein.
  • You may be told to use corticosteroid medicines for COPD, but also to avoid them because you have diabetes.
  • One doctor may want you to exercise a certain way, but another one may say you need to avoid exercise.

If you receive different directions from different doctors:

  • Say so right away.

    Ask one doctor to call the other and talk about the best approach.

  • Contact your primary care doctor.

    Ask him or her to help you find what you need to do.

  • Remember that it's your health care team, and your wishes are important.

    For example, if a hospital close to you and one farther away have the same care, tell your team that distance matters when choosing a hospital.

  • Don't act until you are sure.

    For example, if you think you've just had a test, don't schedule another until you know whether you need it or already have had it.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Pain Management Organizing Your Medical Records Getting a Second Opinion Work Closely With Your Doctor Making the Most of Your Appointment Living With More Than One Health Problem

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details